Some Young Adult books are meant to read over. There is always something new you pick up on the second read through. Then there are some Young Adult books that deserve to be read again because they have something in them that makes them special. The book has passion and it moves our emotions, or it brings back memories of the time you first read it and how much it meant to you. Here are some books I have read more than once. If you have any you want to tell me about, leave a comment or email me and I’ll be happy to add them to this page.
Katherine by Sara Douglass
KATHERINE by Anya Seton is a novel I have read many times. I read it for the first time – wait for this – more than forty years ago. I was in my teens, I loved reading and couldn’t get my hands on enough books. I particularly liked meaty sagas. You know the kind I mean, the book of substance, the book that had an important message to tell, of an event we should never forget, or a book that was based on a true story, or my favourite genre – historical fiction. The longer the saga, the more excited I was to sink into its pages. A book of a thousand pages would not be daunting to me back then. And yes, you can probably guess that I didn’t have many friends. I lived on a farm that was not within walking distance of my school. I had to get two buses. So it was hard to have anyone drop in after school. Being shy and awkward didn’t help my social life either. Books were my constant companions. Books were my friends. The school library was one of my favourite places in the world.
KATHERINE by Anya Seton was written over 60 years ago. I’m not sure how it would be received today as there are long pages of description that sets the scene, the tone, and puts you right there in the historical period, but today those long passages might appear as if nothing much is happening. Many books from my teen years were like that. More narrative and less dialogue.
From Goodreads: “This classic romance novel tells the true story of the love affair that changed history—that of Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the ancestors of most of the British royal family. Set in the vibrant 14th century of Chaucer and the Black Death, the story features knights fighting in battle, serfs struggling in poverty, and the magnificent Plantagenets—Edward III, the Black Prince, and Richard II—who ruled despotically over a court rotten with intrigue.
Within this era of danger and romance, John of Gaunt, the king’s son, falls passionately in love with the already married Katherine. Their well-documented affair and love persist through decades of war, adultery, murder, loneliness, and redemption. This epic novel of conflict, cruelty, and untamable love has become a classic since its first publication in 1954.”
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Parklands Trilogy by Victor Kelleher
Still travelling down memory lane but not as far back as Katherine takes us, the next book on my list is from a trilogy called Parklands, published more than twenty years ago. These books had a strong impact on my early writing days. They gave me an insight into the world of paranormal and fantasy writing. The Parklands trilogy was written before the surge of dystopian and apocalyptic YA books that now fill our YA book shelves. Parklands is a loosely-linked trilogy, superbly written by the multi-award winning Australian Young Adult Fantasy writer Victor Kelleher. Victor was born on the 1st of January, 1939 in England. He lived in South Africa before moving to Australia in 1976. He has had a multitude of books published since this trilogy’s release. There are so many the list would be too long to put here. But if you are interested, you can try this link to Victor Kelleher’s Goodreads Page.
Parkland was published in 1994, Book 2 Earthsong in 1995 and Fire Dancer in 1996. I hope you get a chance to read these books, I know I could read them more than once.
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The Violet Eden Chapters is another young adult series that I could read more than once. This YA paranormal series is written by Australian writer Jessica Shirvington, with five books altogether. I was fortunate to have picked up Book 1 when all five had been published. Don’t you love when that happens? When you stumble on a great new series and the whole lot is already out on the shelves?
All five of the Violet Eden Chapters are riveting reads, with all-round well-developed characters, namely Violet, Phoenix and Lincoln, to name a few, and excellent world building. The tension increased to crescendo heights by the time I’d finished reading the first three books, and I could do nothing but devour four and five.
The books through 1 to 5 are: Embrace, Enticed, Emblaze, Endless and Empower.
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I was remembering when I first stepped into the wonderful world of YA Fantasy and just knew I had my author to add to this list. It’s the late Sara Douglass, who unfortunately passed away from cancer quite a few years ago, but left an amazing legacy of books for the world. My first experience with Sara’s books was twenty years ago, with BATTLEAXE, the first book of the Axis Trilogy. A very special 20th Anniversary Edition of Battleaxe was released last year. Continuing the story from the Axis Trilogy is the Wayfarer Redemption. The images are from both trilogies. Here is a link to The World of Sara Douglass and the many high fantasy sagas she wrote.
Sara Douglass’ World
More coming soon . . .